The Healthy Me Kids Music & Movement Program is a multisensory experience designed for young children that focuses on important health topics such as nutrition, the importance of drinking water, fitness, hygiene, and social-emotional skills. Each health topic is introduced at the beginning of each class through a developmentally appropriate mini-lesson with visuals and props (picture cards, puppets, realia) and then reinforced through singing, dancing, and instrument play. High-quality bilingual songs are written or selected specifically to reinforce the theme and vocabulary of each health lesson. The program is available in English and Spanish.
The program is currently being implemented with children ages 6 months to 5-years-old in Berkeley, Albany, and Oakland in partnership with YMCA of the East Bay. The funding in these three cities comes from the Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes (Soda tax). The program is also being implemented at four Richmond sites in partnership with Bread & Roses Presents. Each classroom receives a weekly, 25 minute lesson for 11 consecutive weeks. The children served come from diverse backgrounds with many different languages represented. There are many second language learners and full inclusion students with special rights participating successfully in the program. The nature of the musical learning activities make the class accessible and engaging regardless of language, age, or ability.
The Healthy Me Kids Music & Movement program can be adapted to fit the needs of each individual site. The length of the program, ages served, number of students, and topics/themes covered can be determined in collaboration with the school/center staff. As an extension to the classroom program, family events can be arranged to reinforce Healthy Me Kids lessons through music and dance.